Cream éclairs always go down well with kids and adults alike. With the added coffee, these are a treat for dinner parties.
- 50g (2oz) butter
- 65g (2½ oz) plain flour
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 300ml (½ pt) double cream
- 5ml (1tsp) vanilla essence
- 100g (4oz) icing sugar
- 15-30ml (1-2tbsp) strong black coffee
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7). Place the butter and 150ml (¼ pt) water into pan and heat gently until the butter melts. Bring the mixture to the boil, then quickly tip in the flour and a large pinch of salt and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a smooth ball. Cool for 2-3 mins.
Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is firm and glossy. You may not need to add all the beaten egg.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle and pipe 9cm (3in) lengths (10 in total) on to a dampened baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden and crisp. Pierce each éclair with the tip of a knife to allow the steam to escape and bake for a further 2-3 mins. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Halve each cold éclair. Whisk the cream and vanilla essence until firm and use to fill the bottom halves. Beat the icing sugar and enough coffee to make a smooth icing and dip the top half of each éclair in the icing. Carefully sandwich each éclair back together.
Once you've perfected making the eclairs, you can experiment with a range of different fillings - you'll find no end of suggestions online.